The NASA Solution
The time was the early-1960's -- it was the height of the "Cold War" and "Space Race" between the U.S. and the Soviet Union...
NASA wanted to find a writing implement that could be used by its astronauts in space...
Ultimately, it took 200 engineers and cost over $2 billion to finally invent a space pen. This pen could be used in zero gravity and the ink would still flow. NASA proudly announced their success, and congratulations flowed in from all over the world.
In a short note to NASA, the Soviets congratulated them, but said that they too had found a solution, but at a fraction of the cost. The note from the Soviets revealed their solution -- "We used a pencil."
This page was last updated August 1, 2005.